The Broadway community mourns the loss of celebrated film, stage, and television actress Jean Stapleton, who passed away on Friday at age 90. The marquees of Broadway theatres in New York will be dimmed in her memory tomorrow, June 5th, at exactly 8:00 p.m. for one minute.
"The theatre is where Jean Stapleton started, and she often returned to the stage throughout her lengthy and multi-faceted career. While we all feel like we knew her, thanks to her iconic television role playing Edith Bunker in "All in the Family," the Broadway community claims her as one of our family," said Charlotte St. Martin, Executive Director of The Broadway League. "Her decades portraying a variety of roles on our Broadway and Off Broadway stages revealed her brilliance in believably playing many different characters. The range of her talent was also evident in that she could triumph in both musical comedies and serious dramas. She will be missed."
Ms. Stapleton began her career in summer stock theatre, and went on to become an accomplished theatre actress. She was in the original casts of Bells are Ringing on Broadway in the 1950s and Funny Girl, with Barbra Streisand, in the 1960s. Other Broadway credits include: In the Summer House, Damn Yankees, Rhinoceros, Juno, and Arsenic & Old Lace. In addition to numerous roles Off-Broadway and regionally, she guest starred in many television series and was seen in many feature films. In the movies, Ms. Stapleton reprised her roles in "Bells Are Ringing" and "Damn Yankees." She was celebrated for her role as lovable and sweetly naive Edith Bunker in the hit CBS sitcom, "All in the Family."
Her husband, William Putch, whom she married in the late 1950s, operated the Totem Pole Playhouse in Pennsylvania, where she performed for more than 20 years.
She is survived by her two children and several grandchildren.